Last week was rubbish, I’m not going to lie. After my fabulous weekend in Wales I came back to reality with a bit of a bump.
I decided to not go to the gym at all during the week to see if that helped my leg. By Thursday (a week since my last gym visit) I was going a bit stir crazy and my knee felt no better so I decided to go to the gym on Friday morning. But I arrived demotivated and feeling crap. I did some deadlifts and half-hearted core work before deciding I couldn’t be bothered. I left in a foul mood.
My dad picked me up to go to work that morning and he asked how I was… and I just burst into tears. Pathetic, I know. I just felt so down about not being able to run and the pointlessness of going to the gym to do injury prevention strength work when I’m injured. I felt so direction-less. OK I don’t need to worry about the Boston marathon (YET) but it’d be nice to just be enjoying my running without pressures or training plans and using the gym as a supplement to my training.
My dad, bless him, went through the problem with me step by step. Can I run? No. When can I run? I don’t know. Is it in the next few days? No. OK then forget about running. What’s the point in every day wondering and worrying about running if it’s clear my injury isn’t going to magically heal over night? My initial estimate of six weeks is proving to be correct, even perhaps optimistic now. For my mental sanity worrying about running isn’t going to help. I need to do exactly what I did last year and focus on something completely different.
On Saturday morning I still went to parkrun and I still felt a bit down.
It’s depressing everyone asking how the injury is…and the look of pity of fellow runners when you say “yep, four weeks and counting of no running”. But I enjoy seeing everyone and the social side of parkrun so I’ll continue to go and volunteer (trying my hardest to not be the bitter grumpy injured runner).
Alfie, as usual, loved racing around and got himself thoroughly wet and muddy. After closing down parkrun, a few of us went for a hot drink in the cafe. As I had Alfie I couldn’t go in to the cafe but Mike said he’d get me my drink, which is usually a peppermint tea. Bless him, he came out with a green tea… I’ve had green tea quite a few times and every time it’s made me feel really nauseous, despite really wishing I could drink it. But never look a gift horse in the mouth I thought I’d give it another go. It tasted nice… though I did feel queasy driving home, but not as bad as usual so this is progress!
I had a Halloween party that evening but I was in such a bad mood, being all grumpy and just wanting to slob out, I decided to not go. I did feel bad but the last thing I wanted to do was dress up and try and be sociable. You know when you just want to hibernate away and watch rubbish TV? Well that was me Saturday night.
It was the best thing I could have done because I watched, and was seriously inspired by, some YouTube videos of health and fitness vloggers (I’ve never really got into YouTube but now I’m hooked, it’s like reading blogs for the lazy!) and decided to pull myself together and get my pathetic grumpy bum to the gym the next morning and get a new focus.
I planned out a heavy leg routine and just went for it:
(No judgements on the weights please, this was hard for me)
I literally spent an hour and 45 minutes in the gym just going through these leg exercises, taking the adequate break between sets and monitoring my knee carefully. The ironic thing is, my knee doesn’t bother me in squatting or deadlifting at all so I could do all this without any pain.
I also got one of the fitness instructors to show me how to use a machine (the leg press). He was very helpful and I didn’t feel like just a “stupid girl” for asking – better to have proper form and complete exercises the way you should than be too embarrassed and injure yourself. Plus, this is what they’re paid for! You don’t need to pay a personal trainer to explain how to use a machine/perform an exercise.
I came out of the gym pumped and in such a better mood. I know I’m a broken record and I’m sorry about that but it is hard when you love something so much and suddenly you can’t do it. But I thoroughly enjoyed the gym and now I’m just going to continue strengthening my body, not just for running but in general and for my mental sanity. I enjoy lifting weights. It’s not running, but it’s the next best thing right now. I detest cardio machines and think the best way for me to spend my non-running time will be doing something I love, not desperately slogging away on a machine in the hope that my fitness won’t decline (that ship has sailed anyway). Plus one of my gym days is going to include some strength-based cardio, like my own version of Body Pump, where I’ll use high reps and low weights to get my heart rate going but keeping things interesting. The other days will be focused on my legs & glutes, shoulders & arms and back & chest. Though I’m just seeing how it goes and what I fancy doing right now.
Basically I’m feeling more happy about things. I hope I haven’t droned on too much about not running… Onwards and upwards to a more positive place!
How was your weekend? Any Halloween events?
When you go to the gym, what do you focus on? Cardio or weights?
Do you watch Vlogs? Any recommendations?